Philadelphia-area market share leader Parx Casino has announced a partnership with the GameAccount Network to bring simulated gambling to PA.
Pennsylvania is near the top of a short list of states poised to make a push for iGaming legislation in 2015. Already this year, State Senator Edwin Erickson has introduced a bill that would legalize online gambling in the Keystone State. This move was preceded by iGaming hearings in both the House and Senate and the mandating of a study to evaluate gambling expansion, the results of which would encourage Senator Kim Ward to change her position on online gambling from neutral to in-favor.
And although those optimistic to see online gambling worked into this year’s budget were ultimately let down, the odds of PA launching an iGaming industry next year are higher than ever. In lieu of this, it appears that at least one of the state’s major casino players is prepping itself for what looks more and more like the inevitably of a 2015 roll-out.
On Tuesday, the GameAccount Network posted a press release on its website announcing that it would be partnering with Bensalem, Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino in bringing its Simulated Gaming play-money casino brand to its
new customers and existing patrons. By its own admission, GameAccount is a
leading developer and supplier of enterprise-level B2B gaming software and online gaming content. The London-based company has already established itself in the US regulated market, partnering with Betfair in New Jersey to deliver the registration, verification and banking platforms for BetfairCasino.com.
Press Release Highlights
The press release highlights that Parx Casino controls 30 percent of eastern PA’s casino market. It goes onto indicate that Simulated Gaming will serve as the basis of Parx’s real-money wagering platform if and when iGaming goes live in Pennsylvania.
According to Greenwood Entertainment & Racing Inc. CTO John Dixon,
Parx Casino will have the opportunity to launch Simulated Gaming nationwide before year’s end and be well prepared in the event regulation of real money Internet gambling emerges in the State of Pennsylvania.
The partnership bodes extremely well for Parx, positioning it to become an early leader in the emergent iGaming market. Once converted to a real-money site, the platform would be ready to engage in interstate agreements, should such arrangements be made.
Parx’s alignment with GameAccount also has more immediate ramifications, as in the short term, Simulated Gaming is expected to greatly increase traffic to ParxCasino.com, thereby increasing casino revenue. Simulated Gaming is expected to launch with virtual slot machines sometime in Q4 2014.
Parx Casino: Cautiously Optimistic
Parx Chairman Bob Green has vocalized his trepidations regarding online gambling, revealing that since New Jersey launched its iGaming industry last November business at Parx has suffered. At last month’s hearings he urged for lawmakers to take a slow, calculated approach to legalized Internet gambling.
What Green failed to acknowledge was that online gamblers are of a completely different stock than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. New Jersey casinos Caesars and Borgata have already proven this, reporting that most of their online customers were previously absent from their databases.
In the more likely scenario, the saturation of casinos in the northeast eventually caught up to Parx, resulting in decreased revenues.
At first glance, Parx Casino’s partnership with GameAccount to bring virtual gambling to its site appears to contradict Green’s testimony. However, Green has also verbalized that should iGaming go live in PA, that Parx Casino would be prepared.
With the casino’s biggest competitor in the Sands (owned by staunch iGaming opponent Sheldon Adelson) likely to opt out of any iGaming roll-out, the race for market supremacy would likely be Green’s to lose. It would behoove him not to be ready once the industry goes live, despite his skepticism.
He’s already taken the first step.